the false promise

The earliest i remember is in summer holidays after 2nd grade. I was to try for a new better school. So... "Bas abhi thoda padh lo admission ho jaye fir toh koi tension hi nahi". maine mani
then came 10th "10th aa gaya hai. Is saal sab bhool ke padho... fir koi tension nahi". Maine wo bhi mani
10th ke baad gaye kota " Do saal ka vanwas hai mehnat karke nikal do, fir to life set"
Maine wo bhi mani
IIT main ghuse "4 saal acche grades lana, after all last 4 years of student life"
Maine wo bhi mani
IIT 4th year "Placements ko seriously le lo, job acchi lag jaye to sab set"
5-6 months into the job "Thoda kaam pe concentrate karo back office se bahar nikalna hai ki hai"
Bas.... it took me so many years to realize.... IT IS NEVERENDING..... isiliye ab main NAHI mani

PS: These are not statements of what anyone told me but rather my view of the situation in front of me at different stages in life
So what is the ultimate truth???
The human mind will never be able to understand MOST of the things ... let alone EVERYTHING

Azadiyan - Udaan (some of the finest lyrics lately)

Peron Ki Bedia Khwabon Ko Baandhe Nahi Re, Kabhi Nahi Re
Mitti Ki Parton Ko Nanhe Se Ankur Bhi Chire Dhire Dhire
Irade Hare Bhare Jinki Sino Mei Kar Kare
Woh Dil Ki Sune, Kare, Na Daare Naa Daare

Naa Naa Aaaaa
Subho Ki Kirno Ko Rooke Jo Salhake Hai Kahan
Jo Khayalon Pe Pehre Daale Woh Aankhein Hai Kahan
Par Khulne Ki Deri Hai Parinde Udke Jhumenge
Aasma Aasma Aasma

Subho Ki Kirno Ko Rooke Jo Salhake Hai Kahan
Jo Khayalon Pe Pehre Daale Woh Aankhein Hai Kahan
Par Khulne Ki Deri Hai Parinde Udke Jhumenge
Aasma Aasma Aasma

Aazaadiyan Aazaadiyan
Maange Na Kabhi Aazadiyan
Mile Mile
Aazadiyan Aazadiyan Ho O O
Jo Jile Wahi Jile Jile

Subho Ki Kirno Ko Rooke Jo Salhake Hai Kahan
Jo Khayalon Pe Pehre Daale Woh Aankhein Hai Kahan
Par Khulne Ki Deri Hai Parinde Udke Jhumenge
Aasma Aasma

Subho Ki Kirno Ko Rooke Jo Salhake Hai Kahan
Jo Khayalon Pe Pehre Daale Woh Aankhein Hai Kahan
Par Khulne Ki Deri Hai Parinde Udke Jhumenge
Aasma Aasma Aasma

Khanani Khatam Hone Ko Hai Ya Shurvat Hone Ko Hai
Subha Nahi Hai Yeh Ya Phir Raat Hone Ko Hai
Kahani Khatam Hai Ya Shurvat Hone Ko Hai
Subha Nai Hai Yeh Ya Phir Raat Hone Ko Hai

Aane Wala Waqt Dega Panhain
Ya Phir Se Milenge Do Raahe
Khabar Kya Kya Pata

The Library of Babel

Some thoughts and imaginations are so vivid and engrossing, that its impossible to explain them to someone else. This piece of 'fiction' is so confusing and endless and yet seems to make so so much sense. You HAVE to read it for yourself. DO IT NOW (click on the title)

PAF Reviews : 4. Antaragini

So it’s time for the last paf review of the season “Antaragini”. I would apologize in the beginning itself for over use of the phrase “PROD TOH GOOOODMAXXX THAAA”. I really can’t help but going to this point again and again.

With the preview of the paf concentrating more on prod rather than script dance etc; they sure had built a curiosity about it before the paf started. When the stage opened, it was decent mall, a petrol pump (very realistic at that), and a fame adlabs box office. My reaction was nice… they have made a good prod. Little did I know that this was just the tip of the iceberg. With little over 7 mins (relying on zen for the time calculation) they transformed the mall to a life size bandra station. Not just a few things … the transformation was from tip to toe, every FRAME, every backdrop changed. Also they didn’t miss out on detailing too. As if an illuminated weighing machine and an over bridge was not enough, they had a moving cctv camera in the corner too. And after this heavy dinner to digest they brought in the special desert, the gem…. THE LOCAL TRAIN. Realistic as I have ever seen, stable enough to have choreo junta dancing on top of it and illuminated brilliantly to give it the touch of perfection. I guess any civil professor would be very happy to watch them execute this HUMONGOUS prod so neatly.

Ok so enough about the prod, lets get to other things. For me this PAF was like a bollywood movie, fast paced exciting very well shot in the first half, but then slowly the story looses track, and it almost seems like the director didn’t know how to end it. The most disappointing part of the paf was script and direction. I guess they themselves had acknowledged that story is very simple, but then again when so much effort is being put in other things, so many experiments (successful at that) in other departments, one expects the story to be at least engaging and a bit logical till the end. Right after the meeting of the AD with the producer, the story was kind of obvious. The end too was a bit abrupt and left many questions unanswered. Also many scenes (even if I neglect the petrol pump scene when the prod was being changed) were stretched without any purpose. It was almost as if they started with brilliant ideas (photo story, use of mall, etc) but then lost it halfway in the script. Also all the scenes needed much more direction, especially the shooting scenes. The lack of defined screenplay made the actors look a bit lost and took away the momentum built by the energetic choreos. But as for other elements, kudos on : 1. Experiments 2. Implementation and 3. Entertainment. Agreed there were a couple of unnecessary choreos, but they were entertaining none the less. Special mention for the little guy in blue shirt, who did the acrobats on the flying ring. Humor from script as well as the choreos was more or less well received. Jabs at Panchi re and ramleela were expected but still amusing. Music was average, but the title OC was quite melodious. But the plan of performing the ost of ‘little miss sunshine’ rather than playing the original for choreo didn’t work out as the track sounded a bit childish. Acting was good in patches, and more often lacked direction rather than talent or effort. Lighting was brilliant. Not only was the light detailing in the petrol pump and train outstanding, but its inclusion in the script time and again was also a clap worthy idea.

All in all it was a very good paf, but had the potential of being one of the all time greats if it had a better 2nd half of script. Still no doubt in saying that of all the pafs till date this was the best prod I have ever seen. This is the only prod which beats the golden temple from 1984. Pupun is right in reviews, prod junta ke haat kaat do.

All in all it has been an entertaining PAF season, and such prods have boosted alumni confidence that this culture won’t just die off. Yesterday when I went to see the paf I was expecting the results before I wrote this review. But as that is not the case it is an unasked question for me not only to rate this paf, but also guess the ranks of all 4.

Well as per individual rating goes I would give this one 8.5/10. I gave the same rating to Panchi re too. In fact for ranks too it is this close, and would come down to individual choices I guess. If possible I would give both a combined first, but I can hear the boos for that already :P. So here goes, my official guess:

1. Antaragini
2. Panchi re ( very close second)
3. Mai maati
4. Ramleela

Discussion, Criticism, disagreements are welcome…. ACCUSATIONS ARE NOT.

Signing off with thanks for all the responses


PAF Reviews : 3. Mai Maati

So now the PAF season has crossed the halfway mark. On 26th evening we had the third PAF “Maai Maati” loosely meaning “Meri mitti/dharti”. And out of the 3 Pafs uptill now, I think this one is the most difficult to write about. For the earlier 2 PAFs I had a good enough picture of what I was going to write as soon as the paf ended. There were many obvious likes and dislikes in those two. But for this third paf it is not that simple. I actually thought and replayed the PAF, the story again and again in my mind. It was when I watched the PAF ‘preview’ again, that it hit me. There is one very true statement there by someone “Ye PAF us sadiyon purani PAF recipie ki tarah hai jismain bas kuch naya masala daalne ki koshish ki hai”. This about sums it up. I think this was the reason why the general response to the paf was “bahut accha tha” and not “bahuuuuuutt accha tha”. Those extra ‘u’s matter a lot. They tell you that the first one is appreciation of the effort but the second one is a reaction after enjoying the PAF.

The PAF centered around a very hot current issue “Naxalism”. To be honest I also didn’t know much about what is going on there. I always approached the issue as communist groups refusing to development. Atleast now my unintentional bias has been removed. The PAF from the word go got into this issue, covering a slight history and the actual state in these villages affected by it. However despite the through research and incidences cited during conversations they, atleast for me, could not bring out the pain of the people affected. Here is what I mean:

They very smartly had constructed this character of Rajeev shekhar, the reporter who is kidnapped by the naxalites. The use of this character is that he is like us, “urban” and unaware of the actual situation. The goal should have been for him to slowly discover the problems in the village. However what did happen was all the background info was thrown at the audience one after the other. And the only incidence that did show the injustice being done to them was the shooting of bittu at the station. In short, in my opinion getting into the issue from the word go and ‘telling’ (not showing) all the problems failed to really make the audience wonder. Infact just the video alone brought in more impact about the issue than the whole story of the PAF. Still to avoid the risk of being over critical let’s move on to the elements

The highlight undoubtedly was MUSIC. The vocals, sitar and tabla jugalbandi, folky tunes for the village scenes were also well thought out. Choreo for me was just average, how ever I did enjoy the ‘mahishasur choreo’ quite a lot. I never knew I could be intrigued by this type of dance so much. Prod involving the moving train was a good idea, however a few more people in it apart from the neta they were waiting for would have made it more realistic. Apart from that the village prod also quite beautifully done. Voiceovers for me were inconsistent, (especially female). There were regular mistakes, stammers and more importantly very few had a distinct trait especially in the village, where it was hard to make out who is who. Still a few VO did standout like the police inspector, bittu, champa rani and saved the day for them. Acting was okish. Most of the humor didn’t really work and the only funny scene that stayed with me was the DDLJ impression. Overall execution however could have been much tighter. Though no major putches, the scene cuts and abrupt choreos hindered the flow of the story. The streetplay though by now a bit of a cliché, was very very well executed and did get the audience going. Another scene that stood out for me was the one when Rajeev shekhar, after spending time in the village, starts a virtual show in the village itself. Supported by some really beautiful music this scene for the first time enabled me to feel the characters in the village. That is why I also mentioned earlier that more use of this character in exploring the problems in the village would have been much more effective than just the villagers discussing it like a history lesson.

So concluding I would say, though no major problem with script or the execution or the elements, this was still just another paf, with nothing there we haven’t seen before. Even the train prod ( though the prod junta involved might not know this) has been done before. Infact I was strongly reminded of PAFs like “Saare jahan se accha” and “1984”. Still for a typical PAF they came through, had their set of highlights and most importantly did bring out quite a few things about the issue not known to many.

Overall rating: 7/10

PAF reviews: 2. Panchi Re!!!

First of all thanks guys for all the feedback on the previous review, please continue with your comments coz they do help a lot.

So on 22nd evening we had the second PAF of the season “Panchi Re”. The immediate verdict is obviously that it was very very good. The humor, the execution, the energy (in choreo as well as VO and acting) was spectacular. Prod junta did a great job too. The thing that set this PAF apart in my opinion was how they started with an entertaining script and slowly brought in some relevant points without making it abrupt.

A few words on the elements. Voiceovers really surprised me. The voice traits given to every weird character was funny and enjoyable. Infact it was these well delivered traits that saved the regular fumbling and incorrect dialogues. Its upto judges what was more important to them. Acting was good but not consistent. A few scenes clearly looked less rehearsed than others specially the flashes when sajalpur starts facing problems. Those scenes also lacked BG music which could have pulled it through. But still despite this dip the overall energy of the paf remained very high all throughout. Music and Choreo …. “DOUBLE THUMBS UP”. They really performed very well. Great original scores, although there should have been more meeting between script junta and music junta coz I still believe they missed out on BG music in a few very imp scenes. Choreo junta rocked. There were no really never before things but THE ENERGY in itself was something I had never seen before, the Ghana Ghana choreo and the holi choreo really set the pace. I am not a very big fan of UV personally but still the execution of that was also good. Lights junta for a change managed to keep their nerve( :P) so kudos to them too. The center stage prod was awesome, and the village prod was also very neat. Although they could have come up with a few more things for the village in the quadrangle.

Now we come to the one debatable point of the PAF. Almost everybody I spoke with loved the PAF, the humor the elements, etc but there were definitely some debate as to what they were trying to show in the end. I assume that no one’s intention was to take sides in the Marathi vs. bihari issue. But the way the debate was portrayed and the story went on, it sort of crossed the line of being politically correct. One should realize and actually believe that there are always 2 sides of the story, and there is some weight to both sides that’s why the argument exists. Otherwise it would have been solved long back. Still in the debate it seemed that the scales were tilted in the favor of gopu bhaiyaa. And this was a fact felt by many people sitting around me and to some I spoke to afterwards. The argument where the question of violence was raised gopu’s character defended that they “gandhiji protested peacefully coz britishers listened to it… but biharis can only be taught the lesson through violence” was really something you can’t expect people to digest. Infact someone in the audience got so offended that he actually got up and start shouting “ Band karo salo….”. His friends had to pull him down to avoid a scene. One has to realize that if someone can get so offended in the middle of the performance there was a problem. It’s not about saying the bitter truth but the way it was being said slightly crossed the line. I guess a healthy debate while writing this part could have helped iron out this issue, especially it being so sensitive.

Despite all that the final extension towards solution was great. Though not a path breaking solution, it gave a positive end to the story which in such situations is very important. And the final lines of how a bird needs to have both its wings working together to fly along with the choreo and the original score did create that emotional impact they were looking for.

So concluding I would say, great work, superb execution. I don’t remember many pafs in which the energy in everything was so high throughout the PAF. Humor clicked and really got the audience involved. Could have used some more work in a few scenes which were too short and lacked the intensity compared to others, but one can easily overlook that in the overall picture. The only thing that could give a slight negative impression to the judges was like I said the handling of the issue, especially with people getting offended right near the judges table. Still it would take a hell lot of effort to beat his one

Overall rating: 8.5/10

P.S: keep those comments coming people